Saline or albumin for fluid resuscitation in patients with traumatic brain injury

John MYBURGH, James COOPER, Simon FINFER, Rinaldo BELLOMO, Robyn NORTON, Nicole BISHOP, Sing Kai LO, Shirley VALLANCE

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490 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The Saline versus Albumin Fluid Evaluation study suggested that patients with traumatic brain injury resuscitated with albumin had a higher mortality rate than those resuscitated with saline. We conducted a post hoc follow-up study of patients with traumatic brain injury who were enrolled in the study. 
Methods: For patients with traumatic brain injury (i.e., a history of trauma, evidence of head trauma on a computed tomographic [CT] scan, and a score of ≤13 on the Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS]), we recorded baseline characteristics from case-report forms, clinical records, and CT scans and determined vital status and functional neurologic outcomes 24 months after randomization. 
Results: We followed 460 patients, of whom 231 (50.2%) received albumin and 229 (49.8%) received saline. The subgroup of patients with GCS scores of 3 to 8 were classified as having severe brain injury (160 [69.3%] in the albumin group and 158 [69.0%] in the saline group). Demographic characteristics and indexes of severity of brain injury were similar at baseline. At 24 months, 71 of 214 patients in the albumin group (33.2%) had died, as compared with 42 of 206 in the saline group (20.4%) (relative risk, 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17 to 2.26; P = 0.003). Among patients with severe brain injury, 61 of 146 patients in the albumin group (41.8%) died, as compared with 32 of 144 in the saline group (22.2%) (relative risk, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.31 to 2.70; P<0.001); among patients with GCS scores of 9 to 12, death occurred in 8 of 50 patients in the albumin group (16.0%) and 8 of 37 in the saline group (21.6%) (relative risk, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.31 to 1.79; P = 0.50). 
Conclusions: In this post hoc study of critically ill patients with traumatic brain injury, fluid resuscitation with albumin was associated with higher mortality rates than was resuscitation with saline. Copyright © 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-884
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume357
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Citation

Myburgh, J., Cooper, D. J., Finfer, S., Bellomo, R., Norton, R., Bishop, N., . . . Vallance, S. (2007). Saline or albumin for fluid resuscitation in patients with traumatic brain injury. The New England Journal of Medicine, 357(9), 874-884. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa067514

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